APL Storyteller - Kari

Two winters ago, a NPR program on seed libraries caught my attention. I instantly fell in love with the idea of a community based seed stock and began searching for one near Appleton. Needless to say, I came up short finding one, but it ignited a desire to research what it would take to open one. During 2015, I immersed myself with borrowed books on various topics surrounding the lore of seeds. I also visited Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa for their annual conference where I learned about updates on seed legislation issues, gained hands on seed saving techniques and encouragement to see the opening of a local seed library through.

I reached out to Appleton Public Library and was connected with Elizabeth Eisen who believed in the idea and has helped me see the opening of the Appleton Seed Library to fruition. I really wanted the seed library to be based in an openly accessible public location, naturally the Appleton Public Library partnership has been ideal. One of my favorite aesthetics of the project has to be the up-cycled wooden card catalogues. Their drawers now house the initial 1,500 heirloom and open-pollinated seeds that the collection features.

At the heart of this project is my desire to create more community through the sharing of seeds, stories and ongoing education. In addition to engaging community members, I am also working to develop community partnerships with other businesses and non-profits. Being a solo community volunteer organizing this seed library has had its challenges. A special thanks goes to the Community Foundation for the help in funding startup costs. Without their support, I couldn't have achieved the goal of this protect.

My story is still being written. In years to come, I do hope to continue to grow on the ideas already started by connecting with others who share interest in my seedy crusade. My next goal is to get a 'seed keepers' program off the ground that would ensure future seed library stock to be grown out locally, thus strengthening our local food security and diversity.

Read more stories like Kari's here!